World domination plan falling into place for U.S. president

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning.

After the attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001,  U.S. President Bush’s mentors didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They were looking for a provocation that would justify implementation of their plan but this was beyond their wildest visions.

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The first highjacked plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  The second tower was hit twenty minutes after that, and the third hit the Pentagon an hour later.

Soon after the initial attacks, President Bush took off in his jet from Sarasota, Florida.  He needed time to let it sink in.  High in the stratosphere, he struggled with mixed feelings of horror and guilt.  The president had been told of such attacks only a month earlier.  On August  6,  intelligence briefings had warned him of al Qaida plans and he had done nothing.

On the ground below, the twin towers collapsed into a hellish inferno, a fourth highjacked plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, the White House had been evacuated, and a nervous nation wondered where their president was.  What would he tell the people?

Three hours the president’ realized that this was no time for admissions of guilt.  He landed in Louisiana and hurried to an underground bunker air force base to tape a TV message.  On the little screen he looked pale and shaken as he said “Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.”

A few hours later the president was flown to another fortified location at the Strategic Air Command headquarters in Nebraska where he consulted his mentors.  What to do?  He didn’t need to think for long.  The plan had already been drafted years ago by the hawks in his father’s presidency, including vice president Dick Cheney.

The plan’s four installments were recently declassified under the title of Defense Strategy for the 1990’s, or the Plan for short.  “The Plan is for the United States to rule the world,” writes David Armstrong in his article, Dick Cheney’s Song of America (Harper’s Magazine, October, 2002).

When peace broke out in 1990 after the fall of the Soviet Empire there was a real threat to U.S. military.  Doves and peaceniks wanted a reduction in military spending.  Cheney saw this threat to his dream of military conquest of the world.  And he didn’t like the competition from his so-called friends.  A strong European Union and the rise of the Asian tigers threatened U.S. world commercial dominance.

Cheney’s plan called for continued military spending against unspecified threats – – he couldn’t suggest war against his allies.  To the question “what threat,” Cheney was unwilling to say.  The Plan’s audacious goal of world domination would have offended the sensibilities of the most Americans.

Its co-author, Colin Powell, called on the U.S. to be the “biggest bully on the block.”  It called for world supremacy through force;  invasion of Iraq to destabilize European oil interests; demonization of North Korea to destabilize Asia and counter efforts to reunite the Koreas, giving a reason for continued U.S. military occupation.

What Cheney needed some horrible event to galvanize public.  He needed “some catastrophic and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor,” as the president’s brother, Jeb Bush, had suggested.

The Plan grew more credible with each passing hour.  The president rehearsed the answers.  Could he convince Americans that an attack on Afghanistan was justifiable, despite evidence that al Qaida had left and spread around the globe?  Easy.  Could he sell the idea that, while they were in Afghanistan, they might as well invade Iraq and toss out Saddam Hussein and his fictional weapons of mass destruction?  No problem. Could he convince Americans that Iran and North Korea were the next targets because they were part of some unsubstantiated “axis of evil”, despite no logical connection between the countries?  He could.

Today, Bush’s Pearl Harbor had been delivered to him.  He had the right stuff to be the chief bully of the baddest army in the world.  When the president returned to Washington at 7 p.m. on September 11, he was ready to rumble.  World domination was within his reach.

Coalition’s battle in Iraq has barely touched war on terrorism

We fired our guns and the British kept a’comin. There wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they began to runnin’, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. (from the song The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton, 1959)

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On January 8, 1815, Major General Andrew Jackson led a small, poorly equipped American army to victory against 8,000 British troops in the Battle of New Orleans.

The battle of New Orleans was not only a triumph of  the underdog rebels over a superpower, it was the success of new military tactic over an old one.  On that fateful day, British Major General Pakenham marched his soldiers towards the American lines.  The Americans were well positioned on the other side of a canal, up a steep slope, barricaded behind bales of cotton and earth-filled sugar barrels.

Despite the advantage of position, the superior British forces could have overpowered the Yankee rebels if not for fate and the rigid British command structure.  During the march, General Pakenham and another general were killed, and a third wounded.

Leaderless, the British soldiers stood rock-like, in close formation, and were picked off by the Americans.  At last the surviving general was at able to give the withdrawal command.  The remaining soldiers retreated with parade-ground precision, leaving three-quarters of their total strength killed or wounded.

Fate and inflexibility were just part of the problem for the British imperial power.  The rebels developed superior tactics.  Small bands terrorized the British.  The freedom fighters worked independently using the element of surprise.  They moved rapidly over difficult terrain to defeat larger British armies.

In the opinion of  the British military, the rebels used cowardly colonial tactics – –  not fair according formal rules of military engagement.   For the Americans, the guerrilla tactics represented a new way of fighting.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, were viewed by the modern world as despicable acts of cowardly terrorists.  For many fundamentalist Muslims, the attacks were seen as heroic and a legitimate tactic – –  a new kind of soldier and a new way of waging war.

The Al Qaeda has redefined modern warfare by modeling themselves after global corporations.   They’re lean, flexible, and don’t require a great deal of money.

“They’re catalysts, for the most part, and their greatest strength is their intellectual organization. The costs involved here are not very high. You know, the technology makes it possible to communicate cheaply, to get these goods easily.  If you think about this entire operation, it probably cost well under a million dollars. But what they have is organizational skill and savvy. In a way, it’s very much like one of these great investment banks or money management firms where the assets are the people.  So it’s very much a globalized organization in that sense,” says Fareed Zakaria, foreign correspondent for Newsweek International.

It’s a sick military fact that the goals of weapons of mass destruction are to generate fear and confusion.  When civilians get in the way, their deaths are written off  as “collateral damage”.  Those goals were achieved by the Al Qaeda on September 11 with their unconventional use of weapons of mass destruction.  When our allies use WMD on innocent civilians, as in the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their actions are glibly justified.

The Americans have not made the same mistake as the British did 188 years ago.  The invasion of Iraq is a different mistake.

When the British attacked New Orleans, they knew where the enemy was.  They were just across the canal, up a slope, behind the barrels and bales of cotton.

The terrorists of September 11 are not in Iraq.  They are not waiting across the Euphrates, just past Babylon, in Baghdad.

And even if they are, they will not be found.   They are not wearing bright red uniforms with a bull’s-eye on the back.  They look pretty much like everyone else.  Unless the U.S. were to slaughter all 24 million Iraqis, some terrorists could remain.

The invasion of Iraq is a big a mistake.  The war on terrorism is being fought in the wrong place by the wrong kind of army.

The battle of Iraq will be won but the war on terrorism is barely started.